President Vladimir Zelensky previously said kyiv would be ready to talk to ‘a different Russia’
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba said he “consider carefully” meet his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov if the latter “to interrogate” for such interviews. The diplomat made the remarks to the media on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit currently underway in Cambodia.
“He did not ask for a meeting, as is customary in diplomacy. If he does, we will carefully consider his request, taking into account all aspects and realities of the current situation,” Kuleba said, without specifying whether Kyiv would indeed agree to hold such a meeting, if Moscow ever sent a request.
Ukraine has repeatedly sent mixed signals about the prospects for negotiating with Russia in an attempt to end the ongoing conflict between the two nations. President Vladimir Zelensky had previously said that kyiv had no “close the door” for such talks, while reiterating his refusal to negotiate with his Russian counterpart, President Vladimir Putin.
“I said that we would be ready to talk with Russia, but with a different Russia. One who is truly ready for peace. One who is ready to recognize that they are occupiers”, Zelensky told CNN.
Before that, Zelensky called on world leaders “to force Russia into real peace negotiations”, rolling out a list of conditions, ranging from the return of territories claimed by kyiv to financial reparations from Moscow. The Ukrainian president has previously said that the only way to achieve such territorial goals might be to defeat Russia militarily.
The Russian position on the talks, however, remains unchanged, with Moscow repeatedly declaring that it is ready to negotiate without any preconditions. “We are always open to negotiations, we have never refused them, we are ready to conduct them”, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday.
At the same time, Moscow has suggested that Kyiv is unable to act independently and therefore lacks the capacity to hold meaningful talks. On Friday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said kyiv had broken off all previous negotiations. “by order of his Western handlers”, referring to the talks held at the start of the conflict. These efforts resulted in a meeting organized by Türkiye in Istanbul, but ultimately yielded no practical results.
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